Thursday, May 29, 2014


As of 10:30 AM (Mountain time), I became a certified fitness instructor thru the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)!
Let the Training Games begin!
I am taking a kettlebell workshop in July, too.  Love kettlebell workouts!  Miss them!! 
I have also ordered an at-home study course to become a Longevity Wellness Specialist.  It's all about hormones and the anti-aging benefits of exercise & nutrition! 
Looking forward to getting out there to teach boxing, kickboxing & circuits! 
Spreading MY good word and works!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Easy Like Sunday Morning...but It's a Holiday Monday

A late morning walk through one of Longmont's established neighborhoods to admire the spring flowers and plants
{spotted an Airstream...swoon!}
A lunch of homemade turkey burgers, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bruschetta and grapes
Enjoyed under our new patio umbrella
With our feet atop our new outdoor ottomans
Sipping homemade sangria
On another beautiful & sunny day
With the snow-capped Rocky Mountains on our horizon and Jack Johnson on the stereo.
Our first Colorado Memorial Day.
(For our "easy" Sunday morning, we enjoyed a 7:00AM 5K outdoor run!!  The first time we have completed a run together.  Either Chris slowed his pace to mine or I picked mine up to his ...more likely a combo of both... but I did it!!!  For the 2nd time in as many days!!!  Then, we spent the afternoon leisurely walking downtown Boulder for several hours enjoying our first Boulder Creek Festival, where we got lots of workout snack swag, free coffee and free yogurt cups.)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Upon Waking

Watched a "Dateline" episode last nite that told the story of two females who fell victim to a rapist/murderer in Denver and Fort Collins in 2011.  One of the victims, even after being raped, beaten beyond recognition, doused with bleach and her apartment set afire, escaped by jumping out a second story window.  While hospitalized, she suffered a stroke and had to be put into a medically-induced coma for her body to try to do the work of recovery.  This woman is a survivor!  She has had to work diligently to rehabilitate herself.  At the end of the show, she was interviewed and, though she struggled, she did an amazing job of speaking about forgiveness.  She then presented the reporter with a bracelet, with the following phrase:
Live Your Days Inspired Anew
Her name ... Lydia!!!
These are words we could repeat to ourselves upon waking, before our feet hit the floor, to set ourselves up for greatness each day.  If Lydia can do it, so can, so should we!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Keeping Busy

May has been a full month! Beginning with the all-important doctor's appointment to get orders for all of my wellness labs, CPR certification class and my studies to celebrating my birthday with family & friends in Denver to a 2-week trial of boot camp, yoga, Zumba and kickboxing!!!  Mix in glorious days of hanging with my honey, having coffee with an old high school friend and making July travel plans and you've got a hint of how crazy & fun my birthday month has been thus far! 
And, I wouldn't change a thing!!!
We celebrated Cinco de Mayo at home with Juana's Tacos (that would be a recipe of my own making!); grabbed beers at B-dubs to watch our friend, Eddie Wineland, compete on UFC (unfortunately, he lost); spent several hours having coffee with our friend from Crown Point High School, Joe Rocchio, who lived in Longmont some years back. 
I ran a 10K on the treadmill four days before my 42nd birthday!!  My first time!  Not to be overlooked, we are almost a mile above sea level, altitude impacts cardio!!   WoOt!!
I have had the opportunity to attend two weeks of boot camp (etc.) for free at Fit Chick Express.  I have been able to try every single class offering, at least once.  I had my rump shaking at my first Zumba class!  Fun hour, even when I felt like I couldn't get my top half to work with my bottom half in an effort to effect the right move!  HA!  I also met up with several of the Fit Chicks for a run at 6:45 this morning and will do so again this Friday. 
We went bowling at Punch Bowl Social in Denver to celebrate my birthday!  Happy Hour $2 cans of beer...called "Old Man Cans"!  My brother, Kyle, and his fiance, Stacie, came into town from DC for the occasion!  Kyle's friend, Mark, (now our friend, who lives in Denver) joined us, as did my brother, Matt, his little one ("Hushpuppy) and his friend, Jim.  The party moved a few blocks south to Illegal Pete's and we were joined by Mark's brother, Eric, and Jim's wife.  We didn't get any food at Illegal Pete's, but everything looked and smelled delish!  There is one in Boulder on Pearl Street Mall, so we might make a visit.
I simply cannot wait to live in Denver!  There are so many cool & unique spots to see!  Plus, we hate the long drive there & back!  Time here has been flying by, so it won't be much longer.  To that end, we have been looking at places to buy and rent.  Still trying to figure out exactly what neighborhood.  I dread the packing and actual moving part, but our plan is to find a place where we are going to settle for the next 2 years! 
I arranged the flight for my mom's trip here in July!  Then, I surprised her and bought my own ticket to fly back with her and stay for a week.  I am so looking forward to seeing all of my family and I have a new nephew to meet, Lucas Ryan, who was born April 15th. 
I am trying out a Piloxing class next Wednesday and I take my Group Fitness Certification test next Thursday!  (Wish me luck!)
Fun, Family & Fitness ~ that pretty much sums up my May!  And I still have 10 more days to fill!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homemade Healthy Treat Makeovers

Tried my hand at a couple new recipes over the past couple of weeks.  I followed one to the letter.  Also, as usual, when I make them again, I will sneak another ingredient or two in the mix!!
Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars from the Minimalist Baker are truly spectacular!  These are one of the best pre- and post-workout snacks!  They are also perfect for on-the-go bites (along with cut-up veggies)!!  I toasted the oats and the almonds, as recommended, and I do believe it makes a difference...a most tasty difference!  Tho, it will go against the name, I will be adding ground flax.  Perhaps a raisin or a dark chocolate chip!  Bumping up my ingredient list to 6, 7 or 8...but, eh, who's counting!!!  It's all about making them my own. 
The avocado in these Fudgy Vegan Brownies is the hidden gem.  To this recipe, I added chopped walnuts.  I think adding dried cranberries would be the next best bump!  And I may not have used enough chopped chocolate this go-around, so I have to be a little more accurate.  Who doesn't want more chocolate?!? 
I also made a batch of banana "ice cream" to keep in the freezer for those warm evenings when I need a cold, sweet fix.  All you have to do is add frozen bananas and milk (we use almond) to your food processor and process until a creamy consistency.  You will need to scrape now & then, plus work the bigger chunks of banana to the blade (without getting the spatula chopped in the process).  I added maraschino cherries and a few dark chocolate chunks to have a real banana split!  Well, sans whipped cream, but it was a delight, nonetheless. 
Give these a try, let me know what you think and how you will make them your own!  

Friday, May 9, 2014


I found a coffee facial scrub online today for $15.  The ingredient list is organic coffee, organic extra virgin olive oil, raw honey, vitamin E and peppermint oil.  It got me thinking...couldn't I make my own version with the used coffee grounds we have on hand (that usually get composted)?  Hmmmm!?!
Looks like I will have another spa moment today! 
Do you make any cleaning products for you or your home?  If so, please share recipes in the comments!  I would love to give them a try myself!
And maybe some mothers will get some absolutely perfect homemade gifts (even make something for themselves) from your tips!

Update:  So I quickly mixed up some coffee grounds, EVOO, honey and virgin coconut oil.  It's kind of messy to use, but I think it does a decent scrubbing job.  My skin feels super silky, thanx to both types of oil, I suspect.  I put the remainder in the fridge and will use it again over the next couple days.  If I make another small batch, I will only use one of the oils and I might sub in a tiny bit of yogurt for its acidic value. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

At-Home Spa

Feeling a bit under-the-weather today, I had zero motivation to exercise, but I knew I would move around by getting some housecleaning done. 
I decided that I needed (& wanted) some facial pampering.  I began by washing my face with my salicylic acid wash.  I then boiled some water on the stove.  Once the water was at a slow boil, I placed the pot on a hotpad, put a towel over my head and leaned over to soak up the steam for three minutes.  I'm a little congested, so this served double-duty!  If I had remembered,  I would have put a few drops of my sweet orange essential oil in the water!!  {Next time!}
I followed my steam with a mud mask.  You should use whatever mask is best for your skin type or addresses your current areas of concern.
You could enjoy a glass of wine (or coffee or tea) while waiting for your mask to dry.  Maybe sit back with a couple of cucumbers over your eyes (which I totally could have done but was multi-tasking and didn't think about it in time!).  How about making a pitcher of water with cucumbers or citrus fruits, just like they have in high-end spas?
After rinsing off my mask, I sprayed on vitamin C toner.  Finally, I layered my eye cream, anti-aging serum and moisturizer (lightest to heaviest for these topical treatments). 
Depending on how much time you want to spend, you could give yourself a mani-pedi.  Soak your feet in either the tub or a small container, with Epsom salts or essential oils or a bit of vinegar.  Simultaneously, begin work on your fingernails: remove polish, clip and/or file, push back cuticles.  Now back to your feet: remove any existing nail polish.  Clip, file & paint.  Add some glitter and/or nail art!!  Finish by painting your fingernails or applying a clear strengthener, like OPI's Nail Envy. 
All this pampering in the comfort of home!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Water is life-giving.  Drinking it is the easiest way toward better health!
Our bodies are 60% water (with our muscles comprised of 70%).  Water is important for physiological functions, to include digestion, absorption of nutrients, regulating body temperature, protecting organs and elimination of waste.
The current wisdom is to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water each day.  I always have a sports bottle of water with me, which measures just over 20 ounces, and I know that I need to drink three bottles to satisfy my requirement. 
We also get water from other beverages, though not as good as the plain stuff, and fruits & veggies, with watermelon, celery & cucumbers having some of the highest water content.
Remember that what you choose to eat and drink benefits you on so many levels: energy, hydration, weight loss (or maintenance), clear skin, strong bones.  And it can all begin by switching out one of your {sugary} beverages with a refreshing glass of water, with or without ice! 
Cheers to your good health!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Juana's Tacos

To honor Cinco de Mayo, I made tacos!  In the past, I grabbed one of those taco seasoning packets and a pound of ground beef.  In our continuing effort to eat healthier, I am staying away from many of the seasoning options which are pre-mixed and, thus, full of sodium.
Juana's Tacos
1 lb ground beef
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes, not drained
garlic seasoning
Adobo seasoning
red pepper flakes
Saute pepper & onion, add garlic once veggies are softened.  Remove from skillet.
Brown beef in same skillet.  Drain, if needed.
Return veggie mixture to skillet, with beef, add tomatoes and seasonings.
Bring to boil.  Lower heat and allow to simmer until most, if not all, liquid is absorbed.
Serve with your favorite tortillas and toppings (we like Greek yogurt as sour cream, salsa, shredded mixed cheeses and homemade guacamole)
or atop tortilla chips with all the same toppings as nachos!
*If you like it hotter, add sliced jalapenos or buy the tomatoes with chiles or jalapeno peppers.
*Use ground turkey or chicken, rather than beef.
I'm looking forward to having the leftovers today!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Life is Good

We live on the outskirts of town and there is a big open area at the beginning of our subdivision.  It's nothing to look at, that's for sure, BUT it is a hot spot for hot air ballooning.  Saturday morning, about 6:45, we grabbed our coffees and Chris's camera and walked out to the field just in time to catch a balloon almost filled.  Having taken a ride ourselves on a vacation in Sedona, we know the exhilarating feeling the passengers were having as they went up, up & up some more, all the while hearing the fire amid the quietness of the morning skies.
With a wonderful warm weekend on tap, here in Colorado, it was important to get outdoors and take advantage!
After a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, with banana slices and a couple over-easy eggs, we packed a cooler with veggies and watermelon, packed a backpack with almonds, bananas and water, then headed to Boulder to hike Mount Sanitas, which was recommended by our dentist, Ashley, who is an Iron(wo)man!!! 
I'm not gonna wasn't an easy hike.  I took a couple breaks during our ascent.  The good thing, in addition to catching my breath, was taking a few moments to enjoy my surroundings.  It is easy to get caught up in the movement, so we must remember to pause and enjoy the nature around us because it really is a giant part of the enjoyment of exercising outdoors.  It was funny because all of a sudden we see a gathering of people sitting on all of these big rocks!!!  Ashley had mentioned the spectacular view once we reached the top.  She was spot on!  We took a cue from the others and found a "comfortable" boulder to rest upon, drink some water, and I ate my banana to replenish my energy stores.  For pretty much our entire hike, it was cloudy, which was a good thing because we didn't get too hot and had natural SPF (to go with the 70 sunblock we applied). 
I can only imagine how peaceful this area must be early in the mornings (we got a late start and were atop the mount just after noon) and we plan to head back just before sunrise next time.  Hopefully, we see some wildlife...and less people!   
We began our Cinco de Mayo celebration early by imbibing on a pitcher of strawberry Cadillac margaritas!  Ole!! 
On Sunday morning, we each went our separate ways: Chris to run and me to lift.  By the afternoon, when we were supposed to color my hair, with the sunshine & breeze, I just couldn't remain indoors.  After applying some SPF 55, we jumped in the car and headed to a trail by the fairgrounds.  Again, just as we were getting out of doors, some clouds rolled in, but we enjoyed a partly sunny and rather breezy few miles walk along several small bodies of water. 
Remember: get outdoors, get your body moving, enjoy nature, make memories
Life is Good!

Friday, May 2, 2014

This Girl!!

Who is now CPR-certified?
That's right ~ THIS girl!!
One of the steps on the path to my Group Fitness certification!
I am on top of my studies and I have scheduled the exam for Thursday, May 29th!

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